Two victims suffered life-threatening shotgun wounds and were in surgery Tuesday morning after a gunman described by a witness as being armed “like Rambo” shot six people at a FedEx sorting facility near Atlanta.
The gunman, described by police as a FedEx package handler, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His name was not released.
[Updated, 11:21 a.m. PDT April 29: During a search near the FedEx facility after the shooting, police found and disabled "incendiary devices," a Cobb County police spokesman told The Times. The location and the number of devices discovered was not immediately released.]
All six victims suffered multiple wounds, but the 28-year-old male and 52-year-old female in critical condition were likely shot at closer range, an emergency room doctor said during a televised briefing.
“With the two people still in surgery, there’s still quite a bit of work for them,” said Dr. Michael Nitzken of WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Ga. “The direct blast of a shotgun is concerning, but others were peripheral damage.”
He said a 22-year-old male was also in critical condition and a 32-year-old male was in stable condition. Two victims were expected to be treated and released on Tuesday: a 42-year-old female and a 19-year-old male.
The hospital started receiving the victims shortly before 7 a.m., about an hour after gunfire at the Kennesaw, Ga., FedEx warehouse was reported to the Cobb County Police. The hospital was in the middle of a shift change, meaning double the staff was on hand to help.
“We’re trying to make the best of a bad outcome,” Nitzken said.
A FedEx worker who said she was about five to seven feet away from the shooter described him as wearing black and camouflage with bullets strapped across his chest, "like Rambo."
“We can’t even bring cellphones into the warehouse,” Liza Aiken told reporters. “As soon as I saw guns strapped to his chest and everything, I knew something was wrong.”
Aiken said she was fixing addresses on packages when she heard a clink. It turned out to be the shooter dropping a large knife.
"I mean he looked like he was heading into war," Aiken said. "As soon as I saw him, I ran the other way."
She also described him as an “immature little boy” because last week he had been annoying her by pointing a barcode laser scanner at her eyes. Aiken was escorted away from reporters by another FedEx employee before she could finish her story.
The facility about 30 miles away from Atlanta sorts packages and places them onto trucks but is not a major hub. FedEx declined to say how many employees are normally on duty at the site.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected, and with their families and friends,” FedEx spokesman Shea Leordeanu said in a statement. “The situation is now stabilized, and we are focused on the needs of our team members and cooperating with the law enforcement investigation of this tragedy."
FedEx workers were being turned away on arriving to work at the facility Tuesday morning. Other local businesses near the airport-area facility, when reached by phone, said police had asked them not to speak about the incident.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times